The Perils of Enlisting Friends and Family IT Support for Your Dental Practice

In an era where cyberattacks lurk around every corner and are evolving by the day and even by the hour, many businesses, especially smaller ones, often rely on the tech-savvy skills of family members to manage their IT needs. Dental practices are no stranger to family help as often these businesses are family businesses. Whether it's a son-in-law who's a coding whiz or a daughter with an encyclopedic knowledge of software systems, the allure of free or inexpensive IT support can be tempting. However, beneath the surface lies a myriad of potential dangers that could jeopardize the very foundation of your business operations.

Expertise: While your son-in-law or daughter-in-law may possess a certain level of technical proficiency, they might lack the depth of knowledge and experience required to handle complex IT challenges effectively, especially cyber and ransomware attacks. Additionally, HIPAA compliance can be complicated to understand and deploy without expertise in what’s needed to successfully meet HIPAA requirements. When practices are notHIPAA compliant, you can put your patients’ sensitive data and your practice severely at risk. Dental practice IT environments demand a specialized skillset that extends beyond troubleshooting home Wi-Fi networks or setting up personal devices. Without proper training and experience, they may inadvertently make critical errors or overlook security vulnerabilities.

Dependency: Relying on a family member for IT support can create a situation where your business becomes overly reliant on an individual whose availability may be unpredictable. What happens if they're unavailable due to personal commitments or conflicts of interest when you have an emergency? Your practice could suffer downtime or leak patient information, leading to lost productivity and potential financial losses. Additionally, if relations sour or conflicts arise within the family, it could further exacerbate these issues, leaving your practice stranded without adequate support. 

Lack of Accountability: When you hire a professional IT service provider, you enter into a formal agreement that outlines expectations, responsibilities, and repercussions for any lapses in service. Additionally, service providers like Darkhorse Dental IT have expert technicians on call to make sure downtime is kept at a minimum. However, when dealing with a family member, such agreements are often informal or nonexistent. This lack of formal structure can lead to misunderstandings, disputes, and ultimately, resentment within the family dynamic.

Boundaries: Family relationships are inherently emotional and complex, and introducing business matters into the equation can strain these relationships. Conflicts of interest may arise if personal loyalties clash with professional obligations, leading to compromised decision-making and blurred lines of authority.

While enlisting the help of a tech-savvy son or daughter-in-law may seem like a cost-effective solution for your business IT needs, the potential pitfalls far outweigh the benefits. From expertise and availability issues to accountability and interpersonal conflicts, the risks are too great to ignore. Instead, it's crucial to invest in professional IT support that offers the expertise, reliability, and accountability necessary to safeguard your business operations in the digital age. Especially if you’re a dental practice or DSO – trusting your IT needs to a company that specializes in unique dental IT needs is the most important investment you can make.

Need an extra hand or support? Darkhorse Tech specializes in protecting dental practices from cybersecurity threats whether you’re an independent, small office or a DSO. Our team of dedicated IT experts provide tailored service for your unique needs. Contact us for more information here:


About the Author: Reuben Kamp, CEO, and Founderof Darkhorse Dental IT, specializes in blending IT innovation with comprehensive cybersecurity measures to protect dental practices. With an unwavering commitment to data security and regulatory compliance, Reuben and his team are dedicated to equipping dental professionals with the tools and knowledge needed to thwart cyber threats and maintain the trust of their patients.


Darkhorse Dental IT Is Here For You

We understand that caring for your patients is your top priority. Dealing with a computer issue, slow IT response time or HIPAA compliance requirements just aren’t high on your list of to-do’s. That’s where Darkhorse Dental Tech comes in. Our team of Dental IT specialists are experts when it comes to running a great, secure and successful practice —and so much more. Whether you’re looking for IT services for startups, or existing support and security services for your practice, Darkhorse can do it all for you, so you can get back to your patients.

Have questions? Looking for ideas? Just want to talk teeth? Drop us a line at to get the conversation started! Or head to our Contact page to send us a message. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!

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